Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: How's the overall morale, Coach?
A: Good, good.
Q: Do you have to do anything special with a team that has lost three straight?
A: Yeah, you spend a lot of time talking to your football team. It's a short week to do that. We've had that opportunity in a couple of sessions and, you know, it's an emotional thing. A lot of people don't understand how emotionally draining it is, especially when you lose. To get over that and get moving, but I think we're getting there.
Q: You had more cornerback issues today. Is that just piling on at this point?
A: It kind of goes with the territory, doesn't it?
Q: Do you have any further info on Zack Bowman?
A: No. He was to come back here after all of the tests. He's not back yet.
Q: Food poisoning? **
A: No, I don't think so. Re: Run of injuries at one position, like cornerback
A: It is. It's rare, especially the way it's gone about. It's really not been the hamstring, groin issues or anything like that. We're making progress along those lines but this is a whole different ball game.
Q: I know next man up and the next man's got to play and all that, but how capable do you think this cornerback group is now?
A: Well, we've got to go. They are guys that obviously have been evaluated and they were next up, as you say. They're here and we've got to get them ready to go.
Q: Is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie better?
A: I thought he moved around pretty good today. I was a little concerned being on turf and so on, but I thought he moved pretty good.
Q: You mentioned JPP the other day. He wasn't quite as impactful against the Colts. Everybody keeps talking about when he's going to return to form and everybody thinks that form is 16.5 sacks. Is that almost unfair to put that expectation on him?
A: Twelve would be nice, thanks. No, I mean, he knows. He looks at it. He was very explosive in practice and sometimes is not as explosive in games. We're trying like heck to work with his technique a little bit more to give him a little bit of an edge. That's basically where we are.
Q: So it's mostly a technique thing?
A: I think it is. I think sometimes he doesn't get the jump on the ball that I've seen him get. It kind of all goes together.
Q: Is it alarming to you, the point differential in the games you've been losing? None of them have been within 10 points.
A: It's alarming that we're losing. I don't know anything about the points or whatever that is. It's alarming. Any time you lose, it's alarming.
Q: The offense on the first drive of each game has not been very successful. Is there a reason for that? Has there been any analysis given?
A: It's something different all the time. The way it shakes out is that it is what's considered the better plays coming off the practice week and the quarterback is in agreement. We've missed some opportunities, let's face it. The first eight plays the other day, there were a couple of opportunities there in the pass game that should have been taken advantage of and we didn't get that done. We keep working on it and we've certainly been reminded about that fact. 'Start fast' is a phrase we've used for pretty much this whole year but we don't seem to grasp that. We don't seem to be able to get off to the start we talked about.
Q: When you say you've been reminded, what do you mean?
A: Each week someone, we all, we keep every stat known to man. We continue to focus on the fact that we don't start fast and we haven't done anything with those first drives and we haven't scored early. That's what I mean.
Q: How much thought have you given to getting Michael Cox more carries?
A: We had some issues, some ideas, some thoughts about matching him up with some opportunities a week ago and we'll continue that. We'll try to match some plays up with it.
Q: You mentioned 'start fast' has always been a mantra here. When you're in a place like Seattle, does that just ratchet it up even more in terms of the importance of that because of the crowd noise?
A: Well, you'd certainly like to do something to at least make people watch instead of… but no, I'm not trying to be facetious about that. Any time, I don't care where it is, it's important. We played in Dallas with 100,000 people, to get started, to get off to a good start is a positive thing.
Q: Will the difficulties on the first drive, will that affect you at all when you win the toss or not? Might you decide to defer?
A: Well, for a few weeks we took the ball. We haven't won too many coin tosses, to be honest with you. I've also kept that chart. I'm looking for that guy that keeps calling it one way. I don't think so. I think it will probably be the same.
Q: When Weston Richburg gets carted off the other night, it certainly did not look good. Then we come out here today and he's looking like nothing's wrong. What's his status right now?
A: I expect him to go. He was really probably 50 percent today and I'm hoping to go inside and find out that he can do more tomorrow.
Q: Any chance of Rashad Jennings this week?
A: You know, for the first time, he had a chance to work in practice and he took some scout squad reps. He did pretty well. Again, we'll find out what that's like inside.
Q: With all the analysis you do, obviously the running game has gone the other way since he's been out. It's easy to say that it's just him not being in there. I know you said on the conference call the other day that it's blocking as well. Is there something, how much are you missing him at this point and what are you missing most?
A: You're always missing a quality player like that who finds a way to, who is, first of all, a great worker. He's very positive, has a great effect on his teammates and also has the ability. Any time you have a player of that magnitude and he's not in your lineup, you're going to miss him.
Q: What is the challenge of playing in this building with as loud as it is and does that amplify…?
A: Well, we've been there before and we've played in front of that crowd and the noise level. Under a lot of circumstances, you remember a few years ago, games that came right down to the wire, that type of thing. That's just one factor. Those 11 guys that are out there on the field are the other factor.
S Antrel Rolle
Q: A multitude of guys are down due to injury, so how do you overcome?
A: You have to go out there and play ball. We can't hang our heads or dwell on the fact that we have a lot of injuries, especially in the secondary. You have to go out there and play ball. It is the next guy up and unfortunately we are going to miss those guys that are not with us. [In] this game there are injuries all over the NFL. Teams find a way to win. That is what the good ones do.
Q: What is the overall team morale like riding this losing streak?
A: You have to get a win at all costs. You have to scratch, claw and do whatever it takes to get a win. That is our mentality.
Q: Russell Wilson's ability to scramble and move – How much pressure does that put on a defense? **
A: It puts a lot of pressure on the defense. He is an accurate thrower and very gifted. He is a double-threat. He can hurt you with his legs as well as his arm. You have to be disciplined and you have to make sure once he gets out of the pocket -- he keeps his eyes downfield, so he is always looking to throw the ball. Just play smart.
Q: How does that stadium rate in terms of loudness and how do you deal with it?
A: It really makes no difference to me. You go out there and you play the game. There are going to be loud stadiums and they are going to be quiet stadiums. It shouldn't affect the outcome of the game at all.
Q: What do you tell these young defensive backs that are coming in now?
A: Make sure you get in your playbooks. Make sure you study. Make sure you are on the same page with your defense. More importantly, give all-out effort. That is all we can ask for.
Q: With all the injuries in the secondary, does it feel like the sky is falling down on you guys?
A: No, not at all. It puts more pressure on us to go out there and play to the best of our ability. Go out there and make plays when the opportunity presents itself. We are not hanging our heads. We are not worried at all. We have to go out there and play ball.
Q: You have seen this team before being down and where the task is tall… What makes you believe this time that you can turn it around again?
A: You have to go out there and play ball. You have to go out there and play with a chip on your shoulder. Do it for ourselves. Do it for ourselves and go out there and show who we are. We are better than what we have shown on film, but we have to go out there and display it.
Q: Have you volunteered or have any of the coaches approached you about moving into the nickel at all?
A: No. I am staying at my position.
Q: Do you see the communication coming back together with all the changing going on… Do you see it coming along the way it needs to be?
A: Our communication hasn't been a problem. It hasn't been a problem. I think our communication has been well. It is just a lack of execution.
QB Eli Manning
Re: Mood of the team
A: The mood's good. I think we know we've got to play better football, we know we can play better, so I thought we've had good practices so far this week. Guys are flying around. We know we're playing a good team on the road, but we're excited about the challenge and excited about playing better football than we have been.
Q: What's the point of emphasis to try to get rid of this losing streak?
A: You know, just find ways to win. I think we just have to keep… we're not catching many breaks. We've just got to keep working, keep grinding, keep staying determined and just keep working hard every day and eventually we'll make our own breaks and we'll start making plays and finding ways to win games.
Q: You're going to a place that's really loud, maybe the loudest in the league. Does that make it imperative for you guys to try to be in sync in every way offensively? **
A: Yeah, we've got to be good offensively, the offensive line, my cadence, being loud but them just sitting in there… try to practice that way. We're not talking too loud in practice, so they get used to not hearing what I'm saying and just understand the timing of the offense and the timing of things, sticking to our rules and reading off the center and stuff like that. We have to have great communication and everybody's got to be on the same page.
Q: Last year the Seattle secondary had a lot of headlines from what they were able to do. This year their stats aren't as spectacular. How much different are they, if at all. Have the rules changed how they play?
A: It's a lot of the same secondary. They've had some injuries and some different guys get hurt a little bit at corner and at safety, rotating some different guys. They're still very talented in their secondary. They still seem to be able to get a good pass rush and so we've got to… for us to be successful as an offense, everybody's got to do their job. The offensive linemen have to play great and keep a good front four from getting pressure and the receivers have to get open and beat a lot of man-to-man coverage.
Q: The team that won the division last year was 3-5, just like you guys, and they turned it around and won the division. Does that serve as an example for your team?
A: Yeah, we know we've still got a lot of football left. We've got half the season left. We're down a little bit but nothing we can't come back from. We've got to just keep working, keep finding ways to improve and we've just got to take one game at a time. We're worried about Seattle right now, handle our business and see how everything else works out.
Q: How do you make up for the loss of so many of your key players, so many guys who were components offensively and defensively?
A: You have to have some young guys step up but also the veterans guys, they have to step up also. I have to play great football and do my job and make sure everybody's prepared on the offensive unit. As an offensive guy, all we can worry about is our squad and our offensive guys and doing our job. We still feel that we've got good players and guys that can make plays, some young guys stepping into some roles to be able to do that.
DE Jason Pierre- Paul
Q: What is the importance of having a fast start against Seattle?
A: Are you asking me a question about offense or?
RE: Both. If you are on defense first, smacking them in the mouth first or offense, as a team really.
A: They are not going to be loud when we are on defense. That is their offense. I think for offense, it is going to be loud, it is going to be rocking. Everybody knows when you go there they have a 12th man. I am pretty sure we are going to be well-prepared for it.
Q: When you face a team like Seattle and they have the 'Beast Mode' running back [Marshawn Lynch], and they also have the quarterback who can run the ball. What is the dynamic of trying to deal with a running quarterback and the running back?
A: It is execution. I am pretty sure if we do our jobs, everything is going to fall into place. That is basically it. Everybody has to do their jobs, you can't do everybody else's job, and it is all about execution. As long as we execute our plays, we should be fine.
Q: How important is discipline when you are trying to stop that read option?
A: You have to be disciplined, we play very well. I am sure it not going to be a big problem for us. We played teams that do read options, too.
Q: Why do you think you play it well?
A: I don't know, our defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, he puts in a good game plan for us. Like I said, it is going to be all about execution. If we do it well, then all of us have to do our jobs. Everybody step up, we got men down, a lot of injuries, but that is no excuse. The next man has to be ready to step up and do the next man's job. We got a lot of talent on this team.
Q: Tom Coughlin said they are trying to work with your technique, trying to polish some stuff up. What is that you would like to polish up? **
A: I don't know what you are talking about. I am watching more film, like I always do, I am watching film of myself and criticizing myself. I always take criticism from the coaches; I don't back sass or anything. As long as they tell me, "hey, look, this is what you need to do", I do it. Whatever they ask me to do, I do it.
Q: When you look at the film of yourself, you say you are your own biggest critic. Is there anything you criticize yourself the most about?
A: It is a lot. When I look at film of myself, I look at how fast I am getting off the ball, am I reading the tackle. If I am reading the ball fast enough. Last game I saw a lot of mistakes I did on my part that I could have played way better than what I did last game. Coming off a bye week, I could've played much better.
Q: Whereas the Dallas game, you had one of your better games.
A: Yeah, but that is in the past. Like I said, it is one game at a time now. I am my biggest critic. If I am doing something wrong, anybody can approach me and tell me I am doing this wrong, doing that wrong and I will listen to them. That is the type of guy I am. I already know last game I didn't play as well as I should've played, that is on me.
Q: Everybody always refers back to that 16.5 sack season. Do you feel like that is unfair when people are expecting that to appear again?
A: At the end of the day, people have high expectations for me, I have to live up to it. As far as that, that is in the past. I am always looking to get better and to better myself, to see where I can improve at as a defensive end, that is what I am looking for.
Q: Do you look back at the film of that year?
A: No, I don't look back. We've got totally different players on this team. It was different back then. Each year, you've got new players on the team, and you have to learn how to work with them, and execute with them.
Q: There is nothing you can look at of yourself that you did differently?
A: That was three years ago, right? Yeah, three years ago. No, I am looking to get better now. That is my main goal.
Q: What is the morale like with the team?
A: We're good, we know what we have to do. We can't lose anymore. Everybody knows it, we can't lose anymore. Otherwise we are going to be coming in here just to play the game and get a check, I don't want that, we've got a good team. Half the time that we lost, we beat ourselves. The offense has to get it right; the defense has to get it together, and special teams. We know what we have to do to win. It is either win or go home. That is how I look at it. I am pretty sure we are going to come out to play this week. Everybody knows what is at stake.
Q: You guys finished the season last year that way.
A: I wasn't in it, I didn't finish the season, I was hurt. I didn't even play them last year.
Q: You were around the team.
A: Yeah, I was around the team.
Q: That's a miserable way to end the year?
A: Yeah. We all know how it feels. We all know what it takes to win here, so we will be ok.
Q: Do you think there is enough in here? The attitude and everything in guys to make that push to finish the season?
A: Honestly, it is not all about attitude, it is all about heart. You can have the attitude, you can have the swagger, you can talk your way, but it is all about heart. If you don't have the heart to play this game, then we are going to continue losing. That is with every guy, every guy has to challenge their self to play more and do more than what they expect, and also to do your job. When it comes down to it, is all about heart. If you don't have heart, that is something you can't give a player, you just have to have it.
Q: This is a great opportunity to get a spark. Maybe get on another roll and beat them in that place?
A: We know what we have to do to win the game. We are not looking for no giveaways or give it to us, we have to go take it. That is how it is.
Q: With the secondary…
A: I am not worried about the secondary. I am done talking
Q: With the secondary as banged up as it is, do you feel like any more pressure?
A: That's them, that is their problem.
Q: Do you think it is more important for you guys to get a pass rush?
A: We are going to do whatever it takes to get to the quarterback.
Q: When you were the defending champs you always said it felt like….
A: We are going to do what we have to do. They lost some games, too. At the end of the day it is going to come down to who has got the heart to play all four quarters and get to the quarterback and stopping the run for both teams. Somebody has got to lose that game. At the end of the day, we will see who is going to lose that game.
Q: You used that word heart a lot so far.
A: Yeah, that is what it comes down to. There is a lot of talking going on, but at the end of the day, it is all about heart. I can sit here and talk all day to you, but at the end of the day, it is all about that individual and what he's got going on.
Q: Is it missing?